Now that summer has set in, north to northwest winds are common. Unfortunately, the lack of rain has seen the return of the dreaded seaweed, known locally as ‘snot weed’. It’s a real menace to beach fishermen as it sticks to the whole casted length of your line, making it nearly impossible to wind your line in.
Very good catches of summer whiting have come from the weed-free patches along Rainbow Beach, although you have to do a bit of travelling to find a clear patch. Chopper tailor are also being caught, mainly at night.
Teewah Beach is also fishing well with whiting, dart and tailor, and it doesn’t have quite as much weed. If you have a 4WD it’s much easier to access weed-free areas.
While on the subject of beach driving, be cautious making your way around as there are a few nasties on the beach. The Mudlo Rocks at Rainbow Beach are notorious for trapping crossing vehicles when the rocks are exposed on a rising tide. There are also creeks and digs that appear shallower than they really are, and hitting these at a high speed will hurt you and your car.
And probably the worst hazard is those drivers who don't know, or refuse to follow, road rules, and have no off-road sense. Recently I was driving on the beach with my family when a tour bus came straight for me in a head-on position at a very high speed, and proceeded to pass me on the wrong side. You would think a tour bus driver would know better. Maybe he thought he was in America. Or he was just plain stupid.
Flathead are still the most common species being caught. It's been a great year for flatties, and the real hotspot of late has been in the Carlo area. Soft plastics have outdone all other baits.
Quite a few small spotted mackerel have been taken on trolled small silver lures and blue pilchards, from Inskip Point to Big Mick beacon around the bottom end of Fraser Island.
With the sultry weather coming on, mangrove jack are turning up in good numbers. Most catches have been coming from Kauri Creek.
Mudcrabs are being potted in all creeks, with the real quality ones coming from Kauri Creek. I feel there may be a lot of crabs around, but we need a few good downpours to get them moving. Hopefully it will be soon so we can start collecting some Christmas treats.
We certainly live in a great area; our offshore fishing has been pretty good all year. I thought the snapper would have thinned out a bit by now, but we are still getting quality catches of them. We haven’t had to travel too far to round up a good feed of reefies.
Around the Seven Mile area has been producing a really nice mix of sweetlip, snapper, parrot, cod and pearl perch. Big red emperor are still on the chew out wide but strong offshore sea breezes and currents can make the fishing difficult. I recently did a trip out wide nailing a 12kg and a 14kg red, but the current was running at around 2 knots and we had to come in much closer to avoid it.
I've done quite a few charters of late with ladies onboard. It's great to see the girls showing interest in a bit of offshore fishing, and they’ve been doing really well for themselves (look out fellas, they're onto us!)
December should be a good pelagic month. Most of the good offshore fishing will be in close. In the past, quality coral trout, red emperor and spotted mackerel have turned up in close. You need to be a little more careful going out too wide at this time of the year as the weather becomes a bit unstable.
Ed Falconer’s charter business, Keely Rose Reef Fishing Charters, makes regular trips to the reefs off Rainbow Beach. If you’d like to go on a trip with Ed you can contact him on 0407 146 151.
1) Sue from Sydney and the author with a nice snapper caught 7 mile out.
2) Chris Mogg with a big cod caught on the Keely Rose. Cod of this size are quiet active in close at the moment.
3) Big reds like these 12kg and 14kg models are on the chew out wide.Reads: 608